Tuesday, January 22, 2008

To CA and back!

I'm back from my trip! It was awesome! I flew into San Francisco on Thursday. That is one interesting city. My view might be a little skewed because from what one of my friends, Chris, told me (he lives there) we weren't staying in the nicest part of town (understatement!). Carrie and I took a walking tour on Thursday afternoon. I was quick to realize I stood out without an iPod and earphones hanging from my ears. Everyone had them, including the homeless people begging for my change. I think they might do a bit better if they didn't show off their expensive accessories while they shake their coffee cup full of jingle. But, aside from that, San Francisco was great. We walked to the Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. It was easily 4 miles and I felt like it was uphill the whole time. But, it was a good way to see the city. We walked through Chinatown and Little Italy to get there so I feel like I got a good tour. And I'm sure I could go back and still not see everything. My biggest shock came when we were going to pick up the rental car on Friday morning. Carrie and I were commenting on a car with a boot on it, then as we got closer we noticed the windshield was smashed in and it was apparent the car had been hanging around for a LONG time. As we got even closer we noticed a lady (straight out of an ad for meth) in the front seat. And, right as we were next to the car, she was open for business and a guy got in next to her. Turns out she was a prostitute. I don't see that very often in Shakopee. So, although SF was fun, I was eager to get to Auburn for the skiing part of my adventure. We spent Friday driving to Sacramento and then onto Auburn where Carrie's parents house is. Then we just lounged around and rested. Chris joined Mary, Carrie, and I on Friday night and we all planned to leave the house around 8am the next morning to go skiing (about an hour away). I woke up on Saturday to an awful smell. Nothing I had ever smelled before. It was like burnt garlic and rubber combined. After searching and coming up empty I woke up Mary to make sure I really did smell something and wasn't just going crazy. She smelled it too and we decided maybe it was natural gas. It didn't have the rotten egg smell, but maybe they add something other than sulfur in CA? So, we woke up Carrie and Chris to get out of the house. Carrie called the gas company and they said it should smell like rotten eggs but what we were describing sounded like an electrical fire. So, we called the fire department instead. They showed up and right away told us it smelled like a skunk. After further investigation, they found out that a skunk had crawled underneath the house and was either still there or sprayed and left. Note: skunks smell different in CA. Since there was nothing we could do about that, we cracked some windows and piled in the car to go skiing.

Tahoe is only about an hour away from Carrie's parents house. It was a quick beautiful drive through the mountains. We wasted no time getting down to business....skiing! Here are some shots from the top of some runs and a chairlift ride.

Pictures just don't do this place justice. It's beautiful. And huge! There are 84 trails...the longest of which is 3 miles long. There are 4 mountain peaks (I think we only made it to three of them). The majority of the runs are intermediate so that is perfect for me. I did think I was going to try a black diamond, but the top of the run was complete ice so we sent Chris down first to try it out. He said it was awful the whole way down so Carrie and I opted out. Here's a couple group pictures:

I'm not sure why I look like a giant next to Carrie and Mary. We lost Chris for about 3 hours when we took a lunch break. He missed the lodge that was about halfway down the run and then couldn't find us. The chairlifts ride 4 so us three girls were always taking a single person up with us and when we got in line the next single person was Chris. Lucky us. Carrie and Mary stopped skiing when we found him because they were tired but Chris and I went about another 2 hours. Then I stopped because my legs just felt like jelly and I was getting sloppy. And the easy runs weren't any better because there were little kids learning to ski that turn every which way without a moments notice and I was afraid I would run them over. We all called it a day around then. Here's the complete group at the end of the day.

The weather was beautiful. About 40 degrees. We were suppose to ski Sunday but due to price ($70 for the lift ticket) and some sore muscles, the majority of the group decided to skip it. Actually, I think I was the only one that wanted to go again. But, it was also nice to just lay around and watch movies. All in all, a fantastic trip. I'm already looking forward to next year. But, the best part was coming home to Rob, Austin, and Ellie.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'll show you mom!

Ellie had her 7 month check-up last Monday. Should have been her 6 month check-up, but we pushed it back for insurance reasons. Anyway, we already knew she was growing fine (16.25 lbs and 27.5 inches; 70% and 97% respectively), but I was worried about her gross motor skills. I wasn't worried until I got to the Dr.'s office. When you get there they leave you in the room with a pile of paperwork. One of these sheets is a developmental checklist. It's based on age. They have you start 3 months prior to your child's current age. You just go down the list and put a check mark next to everything your child does, and a B next to everything they are beginning to do. It's been my experience that there is quite a bit of leeway on the age they expect your kids to accomplish these tasks. For example, smiling. They don't expect it until 4 or 5 months even though most babies tackle in the first 2 or 3 months. And the list is further divided into fine motor skills, verbal skills, gross motor skills, and others I can't remember. Anyway, most of you are probably familiar with this process but I'm not sure how long they've made parents do this so for the benefit of readers with grown children, or readers without kids, I'm explaining. Furthermore, they allow you (at least at my clinic) about 2 minutes to fully evaluate your child's development while you are trying to hold your squirmy child in your lap, and complete other paperwork as well. So, I was going down the list and it seemed like her gross motor skills weren't up to par. She rolls from her back to tummy, but then she gets furious and never rolls the other way. Maybe she has twice. And she wasn't sitting up either, and that was for babies at 6 months old. Yikes! 6 months old? She is 7 months old and hadn't tackled this task and as I mentioned earlier, the makers of this list seem to give your child extra time to accomplish a task...so she must be really behind, right? At least that is what was going through my head as I was struggling to fill out all the paperwork while holding Ellie and trying to stop her from gagging herself with the blood pressure cuff cord. The Dr just said to keep an eye on her and if she didn't start sitting up in the next 3-4 weeks then she would schedule a physical therapy session for her. The rest of the visit was uneventful (not that this story in general is riveting). I got Ellie home and we immediately started working on her homework. I'd set her up, she'd arch her back, fall backwards (I'd catch her), she'd get mad, and cry so hard it would take a few minutes to calm her down enough to try again. But, I was determined. She wasn't. I gave up and figured we'd tackle it again after nap time. So, we worked on it here and there and lo and behold:

2 days after her visit, I can now check her off. Her other trick is that if she wakes up just before Austin, she can play with all his toys. Sharing isn't on the list of developmental milestones, but Austin and I are working on it diligently and it isn't always pretty, and it's been a lot longer than 2 days since we started.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Go go go!

I feel like we have been running around like crazy ever since Christmas. But it has been mostly fun (Ellie got sick twice, me once, and Rob once – those were the not fun times) and they say times flies when you’re having fun. It certainly has for me….2008! We had a party at our house on the 28th. Two of my friends both turn 30 within a couple weeks of me so we had a joint celebration.

We busted out our new game Guitar Hero and I don’t think the guitar was put down all night. Matt Larson, a professional percussionist, wowed us all with his unusual style of play. But, he was making the “Hard” level look easy so there must be something to it. Rob said he plays like Cody from the movie "Roadhouse" in case you've ever seen it.

It was a lot of fun, but I think I was tired before everyone got there, so when the last person left around 1am, I was definitely ready to call it a night. Luckily, the next day was my birthday. I got up with Ellie around 5am, but once she was back to sleep, I was back to sleep too and stayed that way until 7:30am, which is late for me! That was nice. Austin and Rob went and got me donuts. Austin might love donuts more than me. I never thought anyone could love a donut as much as me, but he is my closet competition.

Rob and I rang in the New Year with Greenland and went to bed at 9pm our time. Now that I’m in my thirties, I just can’t stay up as late as I used to (9:30pm). Yesterday my mom volunteered to watch all the kids and my dad, sister, brother in law, and I all went skiing at Afton Alps for the day! That was a lot of fun. I bought some skis on sale over a year ago but never got to try them out because I found out I was pregnant. They have been sitting in the basement collecting dust for over a year and I was happy to finally try them out. They work great! I’m now ready for the ski trip to CA in a couple weeks. They are expected to receive 3 to 5 feet of snow today.
Tonight I’m heading to a Timberwolves game, this weekend a friend from college is going to be in town, next Monday my Grandma turns 92!!!, there’s a birthday party next weekend, and the following week I’m going to CA to ski.

So, our lives continue to go go go. But not too fast. Hands down, the best part of my day today happened early this morning. I was putting Austin's shoes on and he stopped and looked up at me and said "I love you Mommy." That is the first time he has said that and I've been waiting a long time to hear those words.